How to run a 100 miles during COVID

Before I can tell you the story of my 1st 100 miles you need to understand the back story. My attempt at soloing 100 miles at Sinister 7 in 2019 didn’t go to plan (you can read about it here ).

End of leg 3 Sinister 2019

After months of letting it eat away at me. Fuelled by fire and desire to complete a 100 mile race I signed up without hesitation to get back out on that course in 2020.. However, a pandemic level virus called COVID-19 had other plans for our world. I won’t get into the details of COVID as anyone reading this in the next 40 years will know what we have been going through. As a result, all group gatherings were cancelled for the summer. With all the races cancelled many race directors had turned to offering virtual races as a way to keep some income flowing and giving runners a goal to continue to work for. I myself have felt the hard impact of COVID-19 on the fitness industry and had been laid off. Which if you want to look at things positively gave me more time to train and more time to recover from my long runs or big effort training weeks. Continuing my training was critical to my mental health. This pandemic turned my life upside down and the only thing that still felt normal was running.

Leg 5 Sinister 2019

At first we were optimistic and my race date was just pushed back a few weeks but as the lockdowns/shutdowns progressed it was inevitably cancelled. Brian the race director was quick to pivot and created a virtual race series of 3 events which I participated in. but it was the third race called Pure Ultra that I was most excited about. I’m pretty sure it was within moments of hearing the cancellation news that I had texted a couple friends who were signed up to run Sinister as well. After a good cry to mourn the loss of my goal race and redemption for my DNF. I was Talking with Derek & Tess. We quickly hatched a plan that we would still do an epic run on Sinister weekend.

Somewhere within a few different message threads the thought of running from Fort Saskatchewan to Devon was born. I decided to map it out it and was 100km or so. I thought let’s not stop there we can do our own 100 mile run ending back in Edmonton where we all live (except Rae- Ann). And through the grief and tears of losing out on my goal race again this year, was born a great adventure. The Fort Devmonton 100 miler.

Quietly Derek and I had been planning to run Sinister together for months. when COVID hit and cancelled our regular November Project workouts we decided to keep training together (from a distance) with a 10 mile run every Friday (rain or shine!). So Naturally I messaged him as soon as the news hit. I also messaged my running wife, Tess who’s boyfriend Matthew was signed up to run Sinister as well. I invited these 3 crazy friends to run a DIY 100 miler with me. They agreed (I told you they were crazy) and I started building a race route to get us from city to city to achieve 100 miles.

In the weeks leading up to the race I was busy planning out the route, Breaking it down into smaller sections called legs, building in aid stations where our crew and supporters could show up to cheer and take care of us, scouting out sections of the course to ensure ‘safe’ passage and of course securing a top notch crew with Jill & Denise. In the last couple weeks leading up to our adventure word started to get out and we added 2 more runners to the roster. 18 year old Rae- Ann who was also signed up for Sinister and Joel who had nothing better to do than run his first 100 miler and with that our team was complete! Check out the next blog post to hear all about my journey through a 100 miles, the highs, the lows, just over 30hrs of running time.

Hand crafted by the amazing Lori Duke

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